First Night Vienna is planned to be the best family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration the community has ever seen.
The Vienna Business Association [VBA] is partnering with the Town of Vienna to kick off the first-ever "First Night" celebration in Vienna. First Night Vienna, covering Historic Church Street, features four entertainment venues, food, musicians, vocalists, and activities for kids. Church Street closes down between Mill and Center streets for the evening’s festivities from 7 p.m. to midnight.
The ball drops, figuratively-speaking, for kids at 9 p.m. Grown-ups can toast the New Year alcohol-free at midnight.
"Vienna should be doing something like this," said First Night Vienna chair, Michael Amouri of Caffe Amouri. "It’s a thing that fits a town like Vienna. We’re inventing something new here." Amouri said it’s an event of community, businesses and the Town of Vienna coming together. "It’s a family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year’s celebration. You’ll see your neighbors, make new friends."
Entertainers include local musicians, Vienna Idol winners and participants, and children’s favorite magician, The Great Zucchini.
First Night Vienna is free to the public. There will be a main stage under an outside tent where the kids’ entertainment will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Comic-magician The Great Zucchini was the first of kids’ favorite performers to commit. Kids’ entertainment offers music and puppets, too, and children will toast the New Year at 9 p.m.
After the kids’ party closes, pop bands and vocalists perform until midnight. Throughout the First Night Vienna celebration, there will be four venues along Church Street with musical performers at each one. In addition to music, there will be food trucks for people to buy food from. The Freeman Store will be open, as well.
The Town of Vienna has thrown its full support and resources toward this project, Amouri said. And it is happening now because of the "incredible" and "dedicated" people who have been working on First Night Vienna since 2012. When Amouri first approached the former chamber of commerce representing Vienna a few years ago, the chamber wasn’t interested, Amouri said. When he brought up the idea to the Vienna Business Association, they were enthusiastic. "We want to do it," VBA told Amouri.
Family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration, free. Historic Church Street, Dec. 31, 7 p.m. to midnight. Four music venues, main stage: children’s entertainment from 7 to 9 p.m. Special children’s New Year’s Eve toast at 9 p.m. The Great Zucchini, comedic magician for kids, performs from 8 to 8:50 p.m. Music venues: main tent – caboose parking lot; Concorde Lodge – opposite Vienna Presbyterian Church; Caffe Amouri; Vienna Presbyterian Church chapel.
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The four entertainment venues are divided into genres. The main stage, tented, is devoted to children from 7 to 9 p.m., and after the kids toast the New Year, the stage features pop music. The chapel at Vienna Presbyterian Church highlights what Amouri calls the "eclectic mix." At Caffe Amouri, most of the performers are Vienna Idol winners or participants. At Concorde Lodge, the music turns to Blues Jam. Along Church Street, food trucks will be selling a diversity of foods, and Caffe Amouri will have coffee, teas and snacks for sale.
Plaka Grill and Vienna Smiles are title sponsors, and Navy Federal Credit Union, Vienna Idol, Whole Foods, Artful Gift Shop, Weichert Realtors-Mary Foerster, Madison High School Boosters, Sanctuary on Church, Vienna Paint - Benjamin Moore and Caffe Amouri are contributing sponsors.
"This is a vision," said Amouri. "It’s so good for our town. We hope this will be a Vienna tradition, that it will grow and be a big event like Alexandria’s First Night."
Learn more about First Night Vienna at www.firstnightvienna.org and at facebook.com/FirstNightVienna.